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Police in WNY report increase in car thefts and larcenies

A West Seneca woman has gone two weeks with no idea on where two small urns are after they were stolen out of her car. "I was devastated," Marie Ceranski said.

WEST SENECA, N.Y. — A West Seneca woman has gone two weeks with no idea on where two small urns are after they were stolen out of her car. 

It's all part of an uptick in car larcenies and stolen cars that police departments in our area say they are seeing. 

The two small urns, pictured below, were stolen out of Marie Ceranski's car -- inside were the ashes of her mom and mother-in-law.

"I was devastated I just started balling," Ceranski said. 

Marie admits she didn't lock her car. And kept the urns in her car, to stay close to her loved ones. 

"Everyday I just worry about where the ashes are because they're very important to me they may not be important to somebody else, but they're very important to me," Ceranski said.

Police around the Buffalo area -- from West Seneca to Orchard Park to Cheektowaga -- are reporting upticks in car larcenies.

"The overwhelming majority of larcenies that we see out of vehicles are unlocked vehicles, very rarely does anyone actually break a window to enter a vehicle," said Captain James Under of the West Seneca Police Department.

Cheektowaga Police say so far this year, they've investigated, 252 car larcenies and average 200 to 300 per year.

Some police departments are also seeing more reports of stolen cars. 

Cheektowaga Police say they received 56 reports of stolen cars in 2019 -- 125 last year and 124 so far this year. 

"It looks like we'll more than double the numbers we had in 2019," said Chief Brian Gould of the Cheektowaga Police Department. 

Police say many cars that are left running are then stolen. 

"If you need to warm up your car either stay near it or invest in a remote starter so that the vehicle can't be stolen on you," Gould said. 

As for Marie's stolen urns, we had questions for police on the status of the investigation.

REPORTER: Have you guys received any tips anything with any legitimacy behind it in terms of where those urns may be? 

"Like I said the investigation is ongoing I don't want to get ahead of the evidence in it," Unger said.

Marie says she just wants those two urns back no questions asked. If that's what happens, police say they would not file charges. 

"I haven't heard anything yet, I got a lot of people reposting it stuff like that," Marie said.


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